As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy, posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals, Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the expansionist dream of Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel), and it's making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tina Desai). Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy, posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy Chambers (Richard Gere) and Lavinia Beech (Tamsin Greig). Evelyn Greenslade (Dame Judi Dench) and Douglas Ainslie (Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman Cousins (Ronald Pickup) and Carol Parr (Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the ...Written by
A great follow-up: definitely worth the watch, warm, uplifting, funny, emotional & reflective
Speaking critically, of course this film doesn't deserve a 10. It's not a perfect, flawless film, simple as. Nor is it "ground-breaking" story-telling. But I'm still going to go ahead and rate it a 10 regardless. Because, quite simply, I LOVE these films to death, so I'm incredibly biased and could never give it less. But speaking on non–critical terms, this film is perfectly deserving of a 10 anyway (and it certainly does not deserve lower than a 6 for those of you dull sods out there rating as such.). It's a harmless film and isn't there to be picked apart for every little plot failing it may have. It's there to be enjoyed and if you let yourself, you will. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you reflect. It gets the point of the film across splendidly – that life can be an adventure at any age. That is the point of the film. It's all that you want and need it to be.
If there's been one word I've seen affiliated most with this film, it's the word "unnecessary". You know what, I don't think it is. Because are all films supposed to be "necessary"? They exist as a form of escapism and to someone somewhere, a sequel to any film is greatly welcomed, as this film was for me. I have been waiting for this film since the day the companion piece (as they prefer to call it) was announced, and it was lovely and amusing and certainly did not disappoint. And if people enjoy it, why shouldn't they make more?
This film allows you to reunite with an incredible cast and their charming characters, which I'm sure are what made the first film such a hit. Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) are the highlight of the film for me and seeing their tentative romance unfold is a joy to watch. Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) also comes to the forefront of this film, providing her expected acerbic, hilarious one-liners but with the film also allowing you to see a softer side to her, which comes to a particularly emotional point at the film's conclusion. Those three were the real highlights of the film, but the rest of the cast did just as brilliantly, especially the Indian cast who I'm glad to see had a lot more to do this time round. Lillete Dubey was wonderful as was Tina Desai and Seema Azmi (who I was especially glad to see return). Although he caused quite a stir when the line-up was first released, Richard Gere wasn't a particularly exciting addition in the end, but that's not to say he didn't do a good job – mediocre, but still didn't take anything away from the film. Still, it was an amazing cast who all played their parts flawlessly, all bringing something different to the story. I don't think anyone can really argue with that.
It deserves a ten because Ol Parker (screenwriter) and John Madden (director) did a fantastic job in creating a story that could match up (and better, in some respects) to a film they did not imagine warranted a second. It deserves a ten because it achieves what it sets out to do: 1) provide a film to a demographic poorly provided for in the film industry (whilst still making sure that is doesn't scare away younger viewers). 2) It generously allows you two more hours with characters who most certainly charmed your heart in the first. 3) It makes you realise that yes, "life can be an adventure, at any age" and creates that feeling to want to live by that. It deserves a ten because, simply, take a look at the cast list. Finally, it deserves that ten because it's a harmless addition to an already adored film and why the hell not. For another two hours with those characters I'd happily - AND READILY - check in to a Third Best Exotic.
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